Lost & Found: Chapter 2

Nick sat there holding Hope gently in his arms as she sobbed a little bewildered, he was definitely out of his depth, what was he supposed to do to comfort her? Why was she even crying in the first place? Eventually he decided to borrow his mothers technique; when he was young she would let him cry himself out before trying to ascertain what the problem had been.

Hope sniffed as she tried to wrest back control of her body, she had sworn she wouldn't cry any more! Her sobs slowly got smaller as she regained control and calmed herself down however she made no attempt to move out of Nick's arms; she felt strangely warm and welcomed like this and she had no desire to loose that feeling.

Nick smiled softly as Hope stopped crying "You ok?" he asked tenderly

Hope gave a nod blinking the last few tears from her eyes "Yeah" she replied with much more confidence than she actually felt.

Nick nodded "Ok then" he slowly broke the hug, Hope's face falling slightly as he did so, a climbing to his feet "Shall we get a move on."

Hope nodded, silently praying that her legs would hold out weakened as they were, and pushed herself up as soon as the weight settled on her legs a massive jolt of pain surged through her body she cried out in agony stumbling forward. In an effort to stabilise herself she tried to push some aura into her legs to support her weakened bone and muscle structures but this only accentuated the pain her legs, unable to cope with even the tiny amount she had used in their current state, gave way and she collapsed back onto the floor gasping for breath as her mind reeled from the pain, now slowly subsiding.

Nick turned when he heard Hope's cries and rushed over to her and knelt down next to her, his face a picture of concern "What's wrong?" he asked frantically his gaze running critically across her body as he searched for any injury worried that the other two Lucario who had been following her may have done some damage before he had intervened.

"It's my legs" Hope said sadly "I can't walk" she hung her head "I'm sorry."

Nick shifted to get a closer look at her legs, they seemed perfectly fine to him, "What's wrong with them?" he questioned

"I overcharged them" Hope said simply

"Oh" Nick replied, not understanding what she had meant by overcharging, "How long will you take to recover?"

"I only maintained it for about five or six minutes so I should be able to walk in two or three days but running or using enhancement will take quite a bit longer, maybe as much as ten days" she muttered her eyes closed as she recalled being taught about overcharging and it's effects and costs.

Nick nodded "So two or three days" he repeated "hmm looks like I better settle in."

Hope glanced at him "You're staying?!" she asked happily, she couldn't quite place it but she felt a warm feeling deep in the pit of her stomach at that knowledge.

Nick nodded taking off his backpack and resting it against a tree "Of course" he grinned sitting down next to Hope "What, did you think I'd just leave you like this?"

Hope looked down, now she felt bad for doubting Nick, "Sorry" she muttered

Nick chuckled "It's no problem" he said warmly "I promise I won't leave unless you want me too."

Hope's face curved into a small smile, the warm feeling in the pit of her stomach intensifying, "Thank you"

Nick smiled back "It's no problem" he leant back against one of the trees "You said something about overcharging? What is that?"

Hope blinked "You don't know about overcharging?"

"Nope, why? Is it important?" Nick replied his curiosity picking up

"How about enhancement?" Hope tried

"Nope, sorry"

Hope shook her head "At least say you know what aura is?"

Nick nodded "It's the living energy of everything, Lucario, Humans and too a lesser extent Riolu can all manipulate it and use it; kind of like you using aura to convey messages straight to my mind with aura speech."

Hope giggled slightly his response was, although correct, an extremely simplified version "Basically" she agreed "But aura speech doesn't work quite like that."

Nick nodded "Why did you think I would understand you though, I'm Human we don't have many aura users."

"Because of how easy you are to talk to." Hope replied her small smile growing when she saw the look of confusion plastered on Nick's face "Aura speech isn't as simple as you seem to think" she began "It's done by vibrating your aura to create waves like sound, these then travel to the target and vibrate their aura to transfer the message."

Nick nodded "But what does that have to do with it?" he asked still confused

"Well, the more in tune with their aura someone is the easier it is to talk. So aura speech between two Lucario uses almost no aura but to talk with... let's say an Umbreon you'd need to use very powerful vibrations and a lot of aura would be used to communicate."

"Oh, I get it" Nick nodded not entirely truthfully but he thought he had at least grasped the basic premise "So, where am I then?"

"Well I can talk with you almost as easily as I could with another Lucario." she frowned slightly "But if what you say is true and you haven't had any training at all then what I can see is a mere fraction of your potential"

Nick nodded again not entirely sure if he should be worried or happy about this power he apparently had. After a thoughtful silence he looked at Hope "Alright, but what is enhancement? And overcharging?"

Hope nodded taking a moment to consider how to word her explanation, especially since Nick did indeed appear to be totally clueless about aura, "At it's simplest enhancement is just using your aura to boost your muscles and bones, you push it to the limbs and use it to enhance your strength, speed or some other attribute."

Nick nodded slowly "Ok, that seems simple enough" he muttered eliciting a small smirk from Hope; her explanation had been simplified as much as possible. "So I'm assuming overcharge is putting too much aura into your muscles?"

Hope nodded "Yeah, simply put the key difference between enhancement and overcharge is that in enhancement the muscles are doing most of the work whilst in overcharge the aura is."

"Why is that a problem?" Nick frowned "Surely having aura doing the work would be better?"

Hope shook her head "Well the aura works with such force it literally tears the muscles apart and can shatter the bones of the user, the exact damage depends on how much aura you use beyond your limit."

Nick winced slightly his gaze travelling back to her legs "So how bad is it for you?"

Hope sighed slightly "I was only using a little beyond the safe area and only for a few minutes so I've probably only got major strain rather than any actual tearing."

Nick gave a sigh of relief "Oh good" he muttered smiling "I suppose that makes sense, it'd take longer than three days to fix a torn muscle"

Hope nodded "Yeah" she agreed softly